d'Var Torah
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Many years ago, long before I became a rabbi, I was invited to High Holy Days services at Beth Chayim Chadashim (BCC) in Los Angeles. As I walked into the sanctuary on Erev Rosh Hashanah, I remember … more
Near the beginning of next week’s Torah portion, Shoftim (Hebrew for Judges, Deut. 16:17-21:9), we find a verse that begins: “Justice, justice (Tzedek, tzedek) thou shall pursue” … more
Our Torah portion this week is named after Pinchas, the grandson of Aaron, who is rewarded with the continued priesthood in his family for zealously upholding the high morals of the Torah. Soon … more
If you’ve seen an advertisement for travel to Israel, or if you have checked out the website of Israel’s Ministry of Tourism, you may have seen a curious logo. Here it is: This is the … more
We end the Book of Vayikra with a double reading that is made up of the last three chapters of the Third Book of Torah. What is interesting is how relevant it is today. In a few weeks, we will … more
A home and a garden. Sounds biblical. After all, one of the first chapters in the Torah is the story of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. But where was their home? Only the garden is … more
I was speaking with a friend the other day, and I asked him, rhetorically, “Will this winter ever end?”  I’m not bothered by the cold (after all, before I moved to Rhode … more
Parashah Yitro contains some of the most sublime passages in the Torah.  The best-known section, of course, is the Aseret Hadibrot, the 10 utterances/pronouncements, better known as the Ten … more
“Be sure to follow the behaviors which the wise doctors prescribe, for walking in the light of their words is also our religious duty, thus upholding life in this physical world to be good and do good (l’tov u’lemeitiv).” (Rabbi Yisrael Salanter, Ohr Yisrael, Letter 22).  more
Once upon a time, in a faraway land, a man decided to take a hike through some hills. He had planned a 25-mile hike. When he reached the 24-mile mark, he got very tired and wished a car would come … more
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